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KORFBALL - South East Regionals

Both korfball teams had an enjoyable day last weekend at the BUCS regionals tournament in Kent on Saturday 30th January. After a successful prelims held here in Cambridge in November in which CUKC’s first and second teams qualified in first and second place respectively, everyone was looking forward to taking on some new teams from the South East.

An early start to the day meant that both teams were ready to play their first match at 9am. Our teams were placed in different pools and each had to complete the group stage before progressing to the second stage in which the rankings would be decided. Cambridge 1 were pooled with Essex, De Montfort and UEA 2 whereas Cambridge 2 were pooled with UEA 1, Kent and Bedford.

Cambridge 2 started the day with a tough match against the formidable UEA 1, who finished second in the country last year at nationals. Although their day started with a 17-2 loss, Cambridge 2 managed to score a couple of goals and remained in positive spirits, ready to take on their next match.

Cambridge 1 had a brilliant start, securing a dominant 19-1 win against Essex, taking advantage of the many penalty opportunities given away by the other team as well as creating strong attacking opportunities for themselves. Next up Cambridge 2 showed what they were capable of in a hard fought match against Bedford, sadly finishing 10-8 to Bedford at the final whistle. Another confident win for Cambridge 1 against De Montfort meant they were leading the way in group B.

The final matches of the group stage included an unfortunate loss of 7-2 for Cambridge 2 against Kent and a strong win of 16-2 for Cambridge 1 against UEA’s second team leaving Cambridge 1 at the top of their group and Cambridge 2 at the bottom of theirs.

After lunch, the teams then played across the groups to decide the final rankings for the day. Unfortunately, Cambridge 2 lost their final two matches against Essex and then De Montfort. Despite some excellent last minute goals and strong effort from the whole team, they couldn’t quite snatch a win.

For Cambridge 1, the day ended rather differently. A successful win against Bedford in the semi-final meant the first team qualified for the final against the region’s biggest competition, UEA 1. Cambridge 1 remained calm and continued their outstanding play in both attack and defence to take the lead at half time, unnerving the opposition. Cambridge could see victory on the horizon and the whole team stepped up their game to secure a fantastic 12-6 win in the final, qualifying in excellent form for nationals.

Presentations followed with congratulations and commiserations for Cambridge, as we ‘top and tailed’ the final results in 1st and 8th. Individual prizes went to Ollie Bell for top male scorer and Joe Pengelly for male MVP. Overall a fantastic day for everyone, rounded off with a few celebratory drinks upon returning to Cambridge. A big thank you to our coaches Josh and Carla for all their time and hard work. Their perseverance during training sessions, side-line tactics and encouragement throughout the day was invaluable and we look forward to training even harder in anticipation of our Varsity matches on Sunday 28th February in Oxford and BUCS nationals in March.